The Cloak Begins

I had to frog the hood three times, but I finally made it work. Now I’m working on the cape part and debating whether I want hand holes or not.

You might get a better sense of the gradient here:

I can’t remember if I told you, but I’m using those clusters to hide the shaping of the cloak. Those are where the increases happen when they need to happen.

I also ordered a cloak pin from Etsy.

The yarn is so soft. An so beautiful. I know I made it, but I’m still in awe of it.

I am curious about how you block a non-flat object, though. It’s going to benefit from some shaping, but I’m not sure how to do it.

Small Updates

I was on the “I Don’t Speak German” podcast. So was Sonnyboy, but hopefully that’s not very noticeable. It was hard work, but I managed to say “like” nearly one million times. (Ugh.)

I finished the circle afghan!

That was very hard. So much counting. But I love it. It’s very sturdy, but I also love how fragile it looks, like it might pop apart at any moment.

And I’ve started the cloak. I love the yarn so much it makes me want to cry.

This is the hood, so the plan is for it to be a little more plain than the cape part.

But up close on the yarn!

Look at how weird and beautiful that is. Look at how relatively uniform in size it is. Look at all the little bits of color. The silk threads! God damn it. I’m so proud of this. The stitches look so great.

An Artist Needs Me

I got an email from an art professor yesterday whose student needs some yarn that looks a little rustic, with thick and thin parts, and red to kind of resemble blood vessels.

This is exactly the kind of yarn I can spin!

I also recorded an episode of “I Don’t Speak German” about the book. It should be out on Wednesday.

Pushed It

I’m feeling slightly lousier today. Maybe going from death’s door to two full days of work was not the way to go.

My goal for this weekend is just to take it easy.


The truth of the matter is that I really love how this looks, but I’m not really enjoying making it. It’s a lot–A LOT–of end tucking and there are no shortcuts on the construction. You just literally have to count and recount everything.

Did the Masons and the Triangle Afghan Try to Kill Me?

You know, sometimes I write shit like that assuming it’s obvious that I’m joking, and someone will make a comment to me in real life about how I’m paranoid.

And it makes me wonder if I’m not as funny as I think I am (seemingly impossible) or if some of my friends aren’t as funny as I think they are (also seemingly impossible).

And yet, even though I know this may be chalking in the ledger of ways I think “everything is about me,” I’m still going to title this post that, because I still think it’s funny.

Anyway, coincidentally, after spending the day in a room still tainted with the stale farts of Andrew Jackson and then finishing up the triangle afghan, I got sick. Sicker than I’ve been in a long time. Like, I’m still not entirely sure what day it is kind of sick.

Sometimes you get sick and you can still lay on the couch and crochet with a Kleenex up your nose. And sometimes you get sick and you stay in bed for three days, not quite asleep, not quite able to pay attention to the podcasts you’re ostensibly listening to. This was the latter.

But I’m still alive. Masonic Devil Farts be damned.

The Franklin Masonic Hall

I’m bummed I didn’t get to go on the tour, because apparently there’s a ton of Civil War graffiti upstairs and I’m sad I missed out. But I’m so excited they’re figuring out ways to restore and save this building.

The conference I went to is in the very same room where Andrew Jackson and the Chickasaw Nation negotiated the treaty that led to their removal. And the conference was, in part, about Indian removal.

It was the best small conference I’ve ever been to. Every talk built on what came before and gave information relevant to the talk after it. At least the day I was there, they stayed on schedule. The talks were all top-notch and interesting.

And I learned new stuff. Like massive new stuff. Like the fact that all the Native American tribes I’ve been taught were ancient and Southern–Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, etc.–developed in the 1700s and 1800s in the wake of massive, massive slave trading that cleared out a lot of the local population. Which is the other thing! The reason a place, say, here, was empty of Native Americans when Europeans got here (though we can debate about how empty it was) is because there was a massive, massive trade in Indian slaves and whole towns were wiped out so that the populations could be sold into slavery in the Caribbean.

So, basically, these tribes formed from the survivors of the slave trade banding together and fighting back. But it took all these disparate people and nations seeing themselves as a group with common interests that needed to work together. And then they did fight back enough to mostly end the Indian slave trade.

Which white learned from when they scaled up the African trade. And, in fact, apparently, it was the fact that they chose everyone with a common feature (black skin) from a whole continent that made it so hard for Africans to fight back against it. Like, there had to be a whole paradigm shift in Africa about why people were being enslaved. If you’re enslaved because your enemies captured you and sold you to white folks, then your neighbors learn that the trick is not not be enemies with the enslaving group. But that’s actually no help, because people weren’t being enslaved because they were at war with the wrong folks. They were being enslaved because they were black/Africans.

But no one in Africa–a whole fucking continent, after all–viewed themselves as having some huge commonality with other “Africans.” Just like we wouldn’t feel like we were in any grave danger if someone invaded Mexico and started kidnapping everyone with blue eyes. It would be weird and a shame, but it would take a long, long time for blue-eyed people in Alaska, say, to realize they should be terrified.

Anyway, super fascinating and I’m sorry I couldn’t go to the second day.


I’m going to the Franklin Masonic Hall today. Me and Andrew Jackson putting our butts in the same seats.

I’m so close to being done with the triangle afghan. So, of course, I spent the week spinning.

I just don’t want beautiful things to be over.

That’s probably a metaphor for my life right now, but it is also true.

But Do I Want a University?

Y’all, I am heartily considering going to law school hoping that I graduate before Becki Fallwell decides to get divorced, because, whew, her lawyer will be set for life.

“My husband passes intimate pictures of me around to his buddies without my consent.” “My husband brags about hurting me during sex.” “My husband threatens anyone who opposes him with FBI investigations.” “Here’s every news story in which he’s doing these things.”

If I had a quarter of Liberty University, the very first thing we would do is have a big lawn dance to “Truth Hurts.”


I had a really nice weekend. On Friday, my coworkers surprised me with a 20th Anniversary party at work. I got good advice on the book. I got my garage cleaned up so I can put my car back in it. The weather was amazing.

The only hard lesson I had to learn was that alpaca fiber is way, way dirtier than llama. I made a skein of yarn yesterday mostly from alpaca and it hit soap three times–when I first picked it, when I set the twist, and this morning when I was alarmed at how dirty the rinse water was.

I’m using Dawn, but I kind of wonder if I should switch to dog shampoo.

I think I’m about done with the triangle afghan.

I had been thinking about squaring it off but I really like the hexagon shape.

The Hood

So, I did make a tiny prototype! And it does give you a cute point at the back! And I’m lucky my cat didn’t murder me.

I’m also 3/4 done with this bad boy. Maybe more. Once I finish it and the circle afghan, which, bless its heart has just been languishing in my basked, I can start on the cloak.

The Final Gradient

My only worry is the hood, now. I’m half-heartedly working on a prototype, but it’s really boring and I have a lot of other (okay two other) interesting projects I should be working on).

But basically, imagine a U. My neck and head will go in the U, as if we’re looking down on the hood from above. Like (o). When I make the hood as tall as I want, do I put in a seam or do I want a flat panel at the top?

I don’t know. Maybe I should do some smaller prototypes.

The Gradient

I think I’m done spinning for the cloak. It will just be whatever size it is from the yarn I have. I’m prototyping the hood, just to make sure I feel confident before I use my good yarn on it.

This, basically, is my gradient. It’s not too bad, I don’t think. I’m really proud of how the yarn turned out.

Shoot, Y’all

I’ve been busy. I settled on all my photos for the book and I paid for permission to use all of them. So, that’s done. I had an awesome meeting at Fisk. I took my boss to Swett’s.

I had lunch with C. and M. I got my car fixed.

I spun all of the dark yarn for my cloak and I’ve moved on to the lighter yarn.

This week I’m taking a couple of days off to sit someplace different and work on my book.

I guess I should also do laundry and clean my bathroom.